Monday, July 21, 2008

Inside the Chamber Box

Bruce Barry has an outstanding response to the school rezoning histrionics of the past few weeks.  He underscores what I think is the primary problem of the advantage that the Chamber of Commerce enjoys over others who cannot give candidates as much money as the business community does:
[The Chamber] regards a weak school system mainly as an inconvenient obstacle to economic development and employment growth, not as a collective community enterprise that is failing to deliver on a civic obligation to create educated citizens who can fulfill personal aspirations and advance democracy.
Market assumptions have a troubling tendency to hyper-commodify every quality including broader civic values (like mutual respect and honor) and virtues of a democratic society (like fairness and justice).  Education has a larger purpose than the "bottom line," and yet because of the Chamber's influence over the school board, Nashville schools are not likely to serve any purpose higher than what business models require.

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